We’re celebrating a pretty obscure anniversary here. Twenty years ago this October Michael Myers entered the world of Young Adult books with a three book series centering on teens running afoul of the infamous killer.
While slasher flicks tend to appeal to a younger demographic, it’s still weird to imagine Michel starring in a Young Adult book series. I can just imagine a book where young love struck teens are contemplating how to build the courage to tell the girl they like how much they care and then . . . MICHAEL STABS THEM IN THE FACE! OH GOD!
However, you can’t think of Young Adult books as we think of them now with books like “Hunger Games’ and “The Divergent” series. You gotta remember that in 1997 this was at the tail end of the “Goosebump” series when kids were all about that horror stuff. And if you’re a publisher thinking “Man, we gotta get some of that ‘Goosebumps’ money.” You’re looking to grab any license that can help you print money.
So it makes sense that the “Halloween” films got this kind of treatment. At the time this would’ve just been before the release of “Halloween H20” in 1998, so it was perfect timing to start boarding that train. Then there’s the simple concept of the “Halloween” films themselves. Of course the books released were primarily about Michael myers, but if need be, they could have gone on to create non-Michael related stories taking place on Halloween night. Like “Season of the Witch.”
Whatever the grand plan for the series may have been, the whole thing was rather short lived. There are only three books that belong to the series and they’re all written by an author named Kelly O’Rourke. I tried finding out more about this person, but it appears that these three books were all they wrote. Who knows, maybe Kelly O’Rourke was a penname and the real writer is still out there. However, as far as I can tell Kelly seems to have not written any books before or after this series. Spooky.
The first book was released on October 1, 1997 and was titled “The Scream Factory.” Unrelated to the DVD company, but they should totally get their lawyers on the phone. Here’s a basic plot synopsis:
When Lori and her friends are asked to create a haunted house in the basement of Haddonfield’s city hall, they jump at the chance. But an old pro soon turns their little horror show into a bloody death trap. Michael Myers has returned to Haddonfield – and it’s a homecoming they won’t soon forget.
Let’s take a look at the cover.
I understand Michael being pissed about people breaking into his house, but interrupting a school event? That’s a bit of stretch Mike. I love that Michael is just bursting through the door like a grumpy old man chasing the kids off his lawn. And this is the late 90s, why is that kid dressed up like the Fonz?
The next book makes a bit more sense for Michael. “The Old Myers Place.” Once again playing into the idea that Michael is just a crazy old man now, but at least the people are in his house this time.
Mary White just moved to Haddonfield. Being the new girl is tough, but she finally seems to be settling in. She’s friends with a popular girl. She’s dating a gorgeous guy. Everything is perfect. But Mary’s family moved into the old Myers place. In fact, Mary’s sleeping in the very bedroom where Michael Myers killed his sister. Now he’s coming back to make sure she sleeps like the dead.
Christine Ray’s summer has been nothing but lame dates and boring camping trips. She wants at least one interesting adventure before it’s over. Then she sees the ad: “Volunteer film crew needed for documentary on haunted sites. Spend the night at Smith Grove Mental Hospital . . . if you dare”. She definitely dares. That place is the ultimate scare site–Michael Myers himself was locked up there 15 years. But what she and her filmmaking friends don’t know is that Michael Myers still has a room at Smith Grove–and visiting hours are over…